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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Incredible -- for a Modern Journalist

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Over at Vulture is an article that attempts to address a common speculation about The Incredibles, namely whether the franchise is influenced by Ayn Rand's thought and, if so, by how much. Author Abraham Riesman then does a very strange thing for a modern journalist: Rather than concoct a ridiculous caricature of Objectivism and run with it, he (gasp!) consults a speech by Ayn Rand and takes the trouble to interview several people familiar with Rand's thinking. (I'll overlook his use of the term "reformed Objectivist" for one of these since his treatment of the subject matter is nevertheless light years ahead of the vast majority of others who comment on Objectivism.) Among the highlights of the piece are a couple of quotes from Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute, the second of which is below:

The_Incredibles_2.jpg
Image via Wikipedia.
But when it comes to Syndrome, Ghate is skeptical that he fits the ideal of a Randian villain. After all, he, himself, is exceptional: He manages to build an entire island's worth of murderous gadgets and gizmos. "He's a standard Bond kind of villain, an evil-genius scientist," says Ghate. "If you have that kind of mind and can create these kinds of things, as when he fights with Mr. Incredible and the others, he has built something incredible out of himself. That's not the way Ayn Rand thinks of villains. For her, villains are impractical and incompetent. They don't want to have to achieve and produce."
Having expressed my own reservations about superheroes here, it was enlightening to learn -- or perhaps be reminded of -- Rand's thoughts on the subject, which Riesman quotes near the beginning. Overall, I enjoyed the piece.

-- CAV

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